Pavol Lupták isn’t a fan of authority. When he was part of a Czech art collective called Ztohoven, he replaced the proud flag flying above Prague Castle with a giant pair of red underpants. Later, he helped hack into weather cams being broadcast live on breakfast TV to show footage of a fake atomic explosion. Ztohoven also used a SMS spoofing technique to send messages between over 500 members of parliament, including the President and Prime Minister of Czech Republic, causing widespread confusion among the political class. One text read, scoldingly: “We must not lie to people, cheat the country.”
But Lupták’s exploits with Ztohoven were just a prelude for his most ambitious project: Paralelní Polis, a multi-purpose crypto-anarchy workspace, think tank and activist shop in the cool Holešovice district. Housing the Institute of Cryptoanarchy, the Bitcoin Coffee café, a 3D printing workshop, and a co-working space called Paper Hub, Paralelní Polis serves as a hub for alternative ideas based on crypto, and pushes for a parallel financial ecosystem that fundamentally rejects government interference and control. And the Prague location is just the start: The group is planning further buildings in other major cities.